We are delighted that Innosuisse, the Swiss agency for promoting innovation, has approved and will support a research project initiated by Unilube for process monitoring of minimal quantity lubrication.

Increasing process reliability – exploiting potential savings. Unleash the cost killer!

When it comes to classic minimum quantity lubrication and in particular quasi-dry machining, the lubricating film can barely be seen with the naked eye due to the low amount applied. The correct application of the film onto the tool is a key factor, however, for ensuring that the full performance potential can be exploited and process costs reduced with quasi-dry machining. UNILUBE would like to give the user a reliable way of optimising costs here. That is why we are exploring, together with Rhysearch, an imaging technique to quantitatively evaluate the amount and distribution of the lubricant in the machining zone.

Process monitoring in the automotive industry

Especially in the automotive industry, where process and cost optimisation is a very important element of production, the potential savings of minimum quantity lubrication have long since been recognised. The automotive industry already has taken a pioneering role here. By using an innovative process monitoring system and due to the continued, even more intensive use of quasi-dry machining in the sector, we hope that the extremely ecological and economical minimal lubrication systems will also prevail in a wider context of the metal industry.

Shows three inserts, two of which are coated with lubricant. One lubricant has fluorescent marker added to it. The fluorescent lubricant glows brightly and is clearly visible. Research result from Unilube in minimum quantity lubrication.
from left to right: Insert coated with lubricant with fluorescent marker, with normal lubricant and a dry insert

The principle of fluorescent lubricants

The basic concept of fluorescence is to excite a substance by light with a certain wavelength. The excited substance thus reacts spontaneously with the emission of light of a different wavelength. The process monitoring shall take place using cameras and light sources that are imperceptible to the operator. In the present project, both naturally fluorescent oils as well as the admixture of fluorescent markers to lubricants are tested. The same also applies to various camera systems, or filters and light sources respectively. The aim is that the operator can work undisturbed in familiar surroundings despite constant process monitoring. You can find the results of the study here. Did you like this blog article? Subscribe to our newsletter and we will provide you with the latest specialist knowledge all round quasi-dry machining every month. The contact persons from Unilube AG and Rysearch working on this project are happy to answer any questions.


Dr. Raoul Roth                                                             Mr Jonas Hügli
Project Manager / Rhysearch                                   Project Manager / Unilube AG
T +41 81 755 49 58                                                      T +41 71 672 65 22
raoul.roth@rhysearch.ch                                           info@unilube.ch

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